Linda Pastan

February 13, 2015 Pastan Linda



Someone has spilled the moon

all over the trees;


someone is cutting down the trees,

branch by forked branch–


soon there will be nothing left

but kindling.


Why am I afraid of the dark

but more afraid of light, what it reveals:


this moonlight which lies everywhere

like a beautiful torn shroud;


the illumination of dreams, room

after room of dreams?


Is it the moon itself I fear,

in too many pieces now


to put back together?  Or the stars,

light years away, my voice


traveling towards them

in a straight trajectory?


I fear the earth as it warms

and freezes; I fear your arms


which hold me a moment

then disappear.




Linda Pastan’s 14th book of poems, Insomnia (W. W. Norton, 2015), won the Towson University Prize for Literature. In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement.  In May, 2018 W. W. Norton published A Dog Runs Through It.